Potts takes back his title in style

Ruan Potts at EFC Africa 16 at Carnival City, Johannesburg, South Africa ┬ęChris Ricco/Backpagepix

It was billed as the biggest fight the world of mixed martial arts would see. A gargantuan clash between the two “baddest men on the planet”. Over 100kg of brute force and power in each of the athletes.

And then it lasted all of 44 seconds.

By the time Andrew van Zyl and Ruan Potts entered the hexagon at the Coca-Cola Dome on Thursday night the hype machine had been in overdrive. Van Zyl, the defending champion renowned for his granite jaw, against Potts, a man intent on getting his heavyweight belt belt back.

To say that Potts had been hell-bent on reclaiming his crown would be an understatement and he showed it from the time the hooter sounded at the start of the contest with his early intensity paying off as he sunk an armbar and forced the submission in less than a minute.

In the main supporting bout, Nigerian-born but Ireland-based Henry Fadipe knocked Michiel Opperman out cold with two consecutive elbows in the third round of their fight.

Having taken the fight at short notice after team-mate Adam Speechly was forced to withdraw with a split lip injury, Opperman was up for it and would most probably have taken it had it gone the distance but such is the nature of the fight game that he got tagged and went down.

Adbul Hassan made the drop down to the bantamweight division for the first time and delivered an exciting and explosive contest with prospect Matthew Buirski.

The battle was fierce with both landing powerful blows throughout and by the end of three rounds the judges found it hard to decide between the two and awarded a split draw.

In a middleweight contest, Liam Cleland made a successful return to the hexagon by claiming a majority decision over Jason Culverwell while Peter Nyide emerged as a real threat when beating former title contender Alain Ilunga on a unanimous decision.





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